Fond farewell to Ralph, Britain’s oldest man

Britains oldest man Ralph Tarrant  on his 110th Birthday in Sheffield, South Yorkshire enjoying his favourite drink scotch. Pic ''rossparry.co.uk /Chris Fairweather.
Britains oldest man Ralph Tarrant on his 110th Birthday in Sheffield, South Yorkshire enjoying his favourite drink scotch. Pic ''rossparry.co.uk /Chris Fairweather.
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Although he was Britain’s oldest man, Ralph Tarrant lived independently almost up to the end.

“I’m still as fit as anyone - apart from having a bit of a cough,” he said as he celebrated his 110th birthday last July.

Now his family - two children, eight grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren - are reflecting on a remarkable life.

Following his death in the Northern General, after his body finally and quickly gave in to a number of conditions, the funeral was at St Mark’s Church in Broomhill on Tuesday.

Ralph, who worked in the steel and insurance industries, and wife Phyllis were Britain’s longest married couple, for 78 years, before Phyllis died in 2011 at the age of 102.

“He was amazing,” said his daughter, Chris Carter, who had been caring for him in Broomhill and was just about to board a flight home to Illinois in America when she was told he had died.

“He was very independent and very hard working. His prime objective was to take care of his family. I always considered him a fun loving guy, although he was grumpy at times! He loved to walk, although the last month he couldn’t.

“He was a die-hard. He wasn’t going to give in, although in the end I think he knew. He was ready.”

Chris said her daughter, Tara, had given birth on the day before the funeral. “He went and gave room for another one to come in.”